Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter V-A. Private Fire Hydrants.


§ 34–2410.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the term “private fire hydrant” means a hydrant which is not owned by the District of Columbia. The term “private fire hydrant” does not include any private water distribution system connecting the private fire hydrant to the public water system.


(Mar. 31, 2011, D.C. Law 18-337, § 2, 58 DCR 609.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 2 of Private Fire Hydrant Responsibility Emergency Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-197, October 8, 2009, 56 DCR 8130).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 2 of Private Fire Hydrant Responsibility Emergency Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-511, July 30, 2010, 57 DCR 7592).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 2 of Private Fire Hydrant Responsibility Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-581, October 19, 2010, 57 DCR 10116).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2 of D.C. Law 18-93 added a section to read as follows: “Sec. 2. Private fire hydrants. ”As of October 1, 2009, the Mayor and any other District official is prohibited from approving any permit or related plan that authorizes the installation of a private fire hydrant without an agreement, to be recorded in the land records of the Recorder of Deeds, establishing the person or entity responsible for the maintenance, repair, and replacement of the private fire hydrant in perpetuity.”

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 18-93 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Section 2 of D.C. Law 18-278 added a section to read as follows: “Sec. 2. Private fire hydrants. ”As of October 1, 2009, the Mayor and any other District official is prohibited from approving any permit or related plan that authorizes the installation of a private fire hydrant without an agreement, to be recorded in the land records of the Recorder of Deeds, establishing the person or entity responsible for the maintenance, repair, and replacement of the private fire hydrant in perpetuity.”

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 18-278 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.


§ 34–2410.02. Private fire hydrants.

The Mayor shall not approve any permit or related plan that authorizes the installation of a private fire hydrant without an agreement, to be recorded in the land records of the Recorder of Deeds, establishing the entity or person, and successors thereof, responsible for the maintenance, repair, and replacement of the private fire hydrant in perpetuity.


(Mar. 31, 2011, D.C. Law 18-337, § 3, 58 DCR 609.)


§ 34–2410.03. Maintenance of private fire hydrants.

(a) The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority shall have a right of access to inspect, maintain, repair, or replace any private fire hydrant, including the connected water distribution system, in the District of Columbia.

(b) If the identified owner of a private fire hydrant fails to effect the maintenance, repair, or replacement as required in the notice provided pursuant to § 34-2410.04(c), the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority may effect such maintenance, repair, or replacement of the private fire hydrant and the connected water distribution system.

(c) The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority shall bill the owner of the private fire hydrant for the cost of the maintenance, repair, or replacement. If the owner fails to pay for the repair, the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority shall have the authority to obtain and enforce a lien against the owner of the private fire hydrant in accordance with procedures established by § 34-2407.02.

(d) The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority shall keep and maintain records of all inspections, maintenance, repair, and replacement of a private fire hydrant and shall make the records available to the owner of the private fire hydrant upon request. The records shall be kept and maintained for not less than 10 years.


(Mar. 31, 2011, D.C. Law 18-337, § 4, 58 DCR 609.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 34-2410.04.


§ 34–2410.04. Inspection of private fire hydrants.

(a) The Mayor and the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority shall have a right of access for the inspection of any private fire hydrant in the District of Columbia to determine operational ability and compliance with applicable standards. The Mayor and the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority shall designate, through a memorandum of understanding, the agency or authority responsible for the inspection of private fire hydrants (“Inspection Agency”). If such a memorandum of understanding is not executed and in effect, then the Mayor shall be the Inspection Agency for purposes of this subchapter.

(b) The Inspection Agency shall regularly inspect all private fire hydrants in the District of Columbia to determine operational ability and compliance with applicable standards.

(c) Upon determination by the Inspection Agency that a private fire hydrant is in need of maintenance, repair, or replacement, and if ownership has been determined pursuant to § 34-2410.05, the Inspection Agency shall notify:

(1) The Mayor and the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority of the status of the private fire hydrant; and

(2) The owner of the private fire hydrant, in writing, of:

(A) The location of the private fire hydrant in need of maintenance, repair, or replacement;

(B) The owner’s responsibility with regard to the maintenance, repair and replacement of the private fire hydrant;

(C) The maintenance, repair, and replacement identified as necessary for the private fire hydrant;

(D) The owner’s responsibility to effect the maintenance, repair, and replacement identified in the notice within a specified period of time, which shall be not less than 60 days of the date on which notice is provided under this section; and

(E) The right of the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority to effect the maintenance, repair and replacement of the private fire hydrant and bill the owner as described in § 34-2410.03.

(d) The Inspection Agency shall keep and maintain records of all inspections made of a private fire hydrant and shall make the records available to the owner of the private fire hydrant upon request. The records shall be kept and maintained for not less than 10 years.


(Mar. 31, 2011, D.C. Law 18-337, § 5, 58 DCR 609.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 34-2410.03.


§ 34–2410.05. Private fire hydrants: determination of ownership.

(a)(1) The Mayor shall determine the ownership of a private fire hydrant through a title search. The location of a private fire hydrant on the property of a single-family dwelling is insufficient, by itself, for determining ownership under this subsection.

(2) The Mayor shall notify the person identified as the owner of the private fire hydrant, in writing, that the person has been identified as the owner of the private fire hydrant and, as such, is responsible for the maintenance, repair, and replacement of the private fire hydrant.

(b) If the Mayor is unable to establish ownership of a private fire hydrant under subsection (a) of this section, the District shall be responsible for the maintenance, repair, and replacement of the private fire hydrant.

(c) This section shall not apply to private fire hydrants on the property of non-residential institutions, including colleges and universities, or on the property of the federal government or a foreign government.


(Mar. 31, 2011, D.C. Law 18-337, § 6, 58 DCR 609.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 34-2410.04.


§ 34–2410.06. Limitations on responsibility for maintenance, repair, and replacement of private fire hydrants.

(a) This subchapter establishes responsibility for the maintenance, repair, and replacement of private fire hydrants that had been permitted prior to October 8, 2009. If this responsibility belongs to the District government, pursuant to this subchapter, the cost to effect the maintenance, repair, or replacement of a the fire hydrant shall be subject to the availability of appropriations.

(b) The responsibility for conducting and notifying owners of the results of a title search, and the inspection, of the private fire hydrants as required by this subchapter, shall apply upon the inclusion of its fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan.


(Mar. 31, 2011, D.C. Law 18-337, § 7, 58 DCR 609.)

Editor's Notes

The Budget Director of the Council of the District of Columbia has determined, as of February 15, 2012, that the fiscal effect of Law 18-337 has not been included in an approved budget and financial plan as required by subsection (b) of this section. That determination, however, does not affect the codification of this section.